Food poisoning has got to be one of the worst feelings one can encounter, that isn’t too life-threatening if dealt with quickly. More specifically, salmonella is one of the types of food poisoning one can get, where the infection affects the intestinal tract. Along with getting salmonella, you will experience frequent runs to the bathroom, stomach cramps and even a fever! Salmonella typically lives in animal and human intestines and is shed through faeces, although humans are mostly contaminated with water or food.
Earlier this week in Malta, the number of salmonella cases reported to the health authorities so far this month has surpassed that of the previous 4 years, peaking during July alone. This year, over 30 cases of salmonella have been reported and are more than the previous record back in 2014, with 29 cases reported.
So how do I avoid getting Salmonella?
In order to avoid you those non-stop runs to the toilet, we looked into steps you can take using technology to ensure that you are not struck by salmonella or e-coli.
A quick step to take would be to invest a bit over €25 in a gadget that claims to detect traces of possibly harmful bacteria. This gadget is a microscope attachment that simply hooks up to your phone, in conjunction with an app. After attaching the microscope to your phone, all you have to do is rinse the contaminated food in water and then submerge the chip in the water, within half an hour the app will spot the bacteria and then you will be able to see the actual organisms on your smartphone.
If you don’t mind waiting half an hour before eating, this gadget is great for you to ensure that your stomach is kept uncontaminated. Unfortunately, this gadget is not in final distribution stages and is not available at the moment.
“We can detect bacteria with the iPhone, but we don’t know if they’re pathogenic — if they’re harmful bacteria or good bacteria.”
Even though this piece of tech isn’t available at the time of writing this, it is great to see that researchers are looking into food health and safety from the perspective of the consumer and not only in factories where food is mass produced and graded based on the cleanliness and safety of the final product.
What other steps may I take?
Since the gadget isn’t available as of yet, there are other steps you can take to ensure you don’t get food poisoning. Here are a few of the basic rules in order to prevent salmonella:
- Cook poultry, ground beef, and eggs thoroughly. Do not eat or drink foods containing raw eggs, or raw (unpasteurized) milk.
- If you are served undercooked meat, poultry or eggs in a restaurant, don’t hesitate to send it back to the kitchen for further cooking.
- Wash hands, kitchen work surfaces, and utensils with soap and water immediately after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry.
- Do not work with raw poultry or meat and deal with an infant at the same time.
- Mother’s milk is the safest food for young infants. Breastfeeding prevents salmonellosis and many other health problems.
What’s the best technology you have used that has impacted your health? Tell us what you think in the comments below.